There is a lot of talk these days about talent, the workforce, population growth, migration and the economy. These factors go hand in hand as the region, Virginia, and our nation adjust to the new economic realities that set in motion before the COVID-19 pandemic, but they will continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. has been greatly accelerated.
A recent Cardinal News report on migration and population growth was helpful in highlighting some of the dynamics driving population change. It’s important to consider long-term trends and the larger context at the local and state level. After all, businesses and consumers make decisions across municipal boundaries, and regions are functional economies defined by their actual economic relationships. For example, coverage has recently focused on her IRS transition data for a year, and in some cases at the regional level. Other data are more comprehensive in scope and explain the direction of the trend. We are pleased to report that the region is seeing net positive immigration, even though more people are moving across the state.
Mark Rotman book When Baby Boomers Go Bail: A Community and Economic Survival Guide (highly recommended to anyone leading or commenting on economic development strategies) predicted a generational shift in the workforce that would lead to widespread labor shortages about a decade ago. The new coronavirus has only accelerated the generational shift that was already well underway.
It seems almost daily that we hear news about companies being unable to fill positions, and the same is being heard nationally and even globally, even among developed countries. While the problem appears to cut across all industries, some are more problematic than others.
Where in the Roanoke area will you leave us?
The good news is that the Roanoke area is actually better positioned than some parts of the country for several important reasons. From large metros to small/medium metros. When it comes to migration, more people move in than move out.
“It’s a great place to live.” Isn’t that what everyone says back home? Yes, probably – but it’s true. Numbers don’t lie. There is third-party verification to back it up. Not only has it received accolades for its livability, outside magazine, mens journal, runner’s world Moreover, even though the Commonwealth is beginning to see outmigration on a net basis, largely due to net losses in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, the data show that new residents are leaving the area. Indicates that you have made a selection.
Of course, there are complex underlying dynamics that shape migration. For example, housing is one of the key variables that directly affects a region’s ability to attract migrants (people who move here). Housing inventories have been very low in recent years, another national phenomenon caused by the decline in building activity after the Great Recession. For the market to grow, there needs to be more housing options with different prices and configurations.
The construction of new homes is a sign of migration and population growth that has not yet happened. There are also signs of new housing developments throughout the area.
Moody’s Economy tracks housing permits and provides regional forecasts through 2027. Moody’s data shows that construction activity is accelerating and is expected to remain at about double the level of pre-COVID years. The market is responding to demand, which is very encouraging and a sign of future growth. This is both a prerequisite and a symptom of the increase in immigration that everyone wants.
There is a “tenacity” in this area. It’s a term coined by the Knight Foundation in the soul of community studies, and many have worked to promote it. Deliberate investments in local outdoor and livability strategies continue to pay off. Together, the public and private sectors have done a phenomenal job of supporting investments in outdoor infrastructure, arts and culture, and livability in the redevelopment of downtown and village centers. has spurred the creation of new types of businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries that foster community connections.
But our work isn’t done yet. The public and private sectors must continue to work together to maintain momentum in the region. for example:
- Our livability benefits require investment to maintain our beautiful property. Investments are also needed to develop fresh, relevant new assets and increase the attractiveness of talented regions.
- State and local governments should consider policies that encourage housing development that not only expands housing options but also maintains and enhances community character.
- Local programs that stimulate neighborhood revitalization and investment can revitalize neighborhoods and contribute to growth and housing choice.
- Education and workforce partners must continuously evolve to ensure maximum access and inclusiveness to training and educational opportunities. Because our region cannot afford to fail when it comes to fully activating every member or potential member of the workforce.
- Economic developers must maintain strong relationships with private industry to understand talent needs, provide that information to local workforce partners, and build links to higher education.
It is necessary to lay the foundation. In addition, there is a message to be conveyed to audiences inside and outside the region. Marketing to do. This is where the Roanoke Regional her partnership and its partners come into play.
As part of its Thrive 2027 strategic plan, the Roanoke Regional Partnership is implementing several strategies aimed at attracting talent, including young and diverse people, remote workers, entrepreneurs and recent graduates. Worked on a joint strategy with the Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board to increase career awareness, communicate opportunities related to career paths, and launch a regional web-based talent portal.
This is all in addition to our continued efforts to attract new business, working with local governments on opportunities to sustain and expand their business, and developing local real estate strategies to meet current industry demands. increase.
All of these strategies are part of the big picture and are critically important to our growth. Even in 2011, Lautmann predicted that competition for talent was coming. The good news is that the Roanoke area is well positioned and already making a net profit when it comes to attracting new residents. And with record levels of residential development, there is reason to be bullish on the region’s future prospects when it comes to migration. , talent, and growth.
With carefully crafted strategies, coordinated actions, partnerships between the public and private sectors, and additional investments, the region will thrive and thrive.